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The long history of the U.S. interfering with elections elsewhere

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  • The long history of the U.S. interfering with elections elsewhere

    For a nation that has been meddling in other countries election for decades we sure don't like it when the shoe is on the other foot.
    Of course, foreign powers have tried to influence our elections for many years, usually our candidates just take it in stride and bank.....
    So why the false concern now?


    One of the more alarming narratives of the 2016 U.S. election campaign is that of the Kremlin's apparent meddling. Last week, the United States formally accused the Russian government of stealing and disclosing emails from the Democratic National Committee and the individual accounts of prominent Washington insiders.

    The hacks, in part leaked by WikiLeaks, have led to loud declarations that Moscow is eager for the victory of Republican nominee Donald Trump, whose rhetoric has unsettled Washington's traditional European allies and even thrown the future of NATO — Russia's bête noire — into doubt.

    Leading Russian officials have balked at the Obama administration's claim. In an interview with CNN on Wednesday, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov dismissed the suggestion of interference as “ridiculous,” though he said it was “flattering” that Washington would point the finger at Moscow. At a time of pronounced regional tensions in the Middle East and elsewhere, there's no love lost between Kremlin officials and their American counterparts.

    To be sure, there's a much larger context behind today's bluster. As my colleague Andrew Roth notes, whatever their government's alleged actions in 2016, Russia's leaders enjoy casting aspersions on the American democratic process. And, in recent years, they have also bristled at perceived U.S. meddling in the politics of countries on Russia's borders, most notably in Ukraine.

    While the days of its worst behavior are long behind it, the United States does have a well-documented history of interfering and sometimes interrupting the workings of democracies elsewhere. It has occupied and intervened militarily in a whole swath of countries in the Caribbean and Latin America and fomented coups against democratically elected populists.

    The most infamous episodes include the ousting of Iranian Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh in 1953 — whose government was replaced by an authoritarian monarchy favorable to Washington — the removal and assassination of Congolese leader Patrice Lumumba in 1961, and the violent toppling of socialist Chilean President Salvador Allende, whose government was swept aside in 1973 by a military coup led by the ruthless Gen. Augusto Pinochet.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...=.09b5095141c3
    Dispite our best intentions, the system is dysfunctional that intelligence failure is guaranteed.
    Russ Travers, CIA analyst, 2001

  • #2
    Noam Chomsky on the Long History of US Meddling in Foreign Elections

    More evidence from a leftist view...

    A wide range of politicians and media outlets have described the alleged Russian interference in the last US presidential election (by way of hacking) as representing a direct threat to American democracy and even to national security itself. Of course, the irony behind these concerns about the interference of foreign nations in the domestic political affairs of the United States is that the US has blatantly interfered in the elections of many other nations, with methods that include not only financial support to preferred parties and the circulation of propaganda but also assassinations and overthrows of even democratically elected regimes. Indeed, the US has a long criminal history of meddling into the political affairs of other nations -- a history that spans at least a century and, since the end of World War II, extends into all regions of the globe, including western parliamentary polities. This interview with Noam Chomsky reminds us that the United States is no stranger to election interference; in fact, it is an expert in this arena.

    C. J. Polychroniou: Noam, the US intelligence agencies have accused Russia of interference in the US presidential election in order to boost Trump's chances, and some leading Democrats have actually gone on record saying that the Kremlin's canny operatives changed the election outcome. What's your reaction to all this talk in Washington and among media pundits about Russian cyber and propaganda efforts to influence the outcome of the presidential election in Donald Trump's favor?

    Noam Chomsky: Much of the world must be astonished -- if they are not collapsing in laughter -- while watching the performances in high places and in media concerning Russian efforts to influence an American election, a familiar US government specialty as far back as we choose to trace the practice. There is, however, merit in the claim that this case is different in character: By US standards, the Russian efforts are so meager as to barely elicit notice.

    Let's talk about the long history of US meddling in foreign political affairs, which has always been morally and politically justified as the spread of American style-democracy throughout the world.

    The history of US foreign policy, especially after World War II, is pretty much defined by the subversion and overthrow of foreign regimes, including parliamentary regimes, and the resort to violence to destroy popular organizations that might offer the majority of the population an opportunity to enter the political arena.

    Following the Second World War, the United States was committed to restoring the traditional conservative order. To achieve this aim, it was necessary to destroy the anti-fascist resistance, often in favor of Nazi and fascist collaborators, to weaken unions and other popular organizations, and to block the threat of radical democracy and social reform, which were live options under the conditions of the time. These policies were pursued worldwide: in Asia, including South Korea, the Philippines, Thailand, Indochina and crucially, Japan; in Europe, including Greece, Italy, France and crucially, Germany; in Latin America, including what the CIA took to be the most severe threats at the time, "radical nationalism" in Guatemala and Bolivia.

    Sometimes the task required considerable brutality. In South Korea, about 100,000 people were killed in the late 1940s by security forces installed and directed by the United States. This was before the Korean war, which Jon Halliday and Bruce Cumings describe as "in essence" a phase -- marked by massive outside intervention -- in "a civil war fought between two domestic forces: a revolutionary nationalist movement, which had its roots in tough anti-colonial struggle, and a conservative movement tied to the status quo, especially to an unequal land system," restored to power under the US occupation. In Greece in the same years, hundreds of thousands were killed, tortured, imprisoned or expelled in the course of a counterinsurgency operation, organized and directed by the United States, which restored traditional elites to power, including Nazi collaborators, and suppressed the peasant- and worker-based communist-led forces that had fought the Nazis. In the industrial societies, the same essential goals were realized, but by less violent means.

    Yet it is true that there have been cases where the US was directly involved in organizing coups even in advanced industrial democracies, such as in Australia and Italy in the mid-1970s. Correct?

    Yes, there is evidence of CIA involvement in a virtual coup that overturned the Whitlam Labor government in Australia in 1975, when it was feared that Whitlam might interfere with Washington's military and intelligence bases in Australia. Large-scale CIA interference in Italian politics has been public knowledge since the congressional Pike Report was leaked in 1976, citing a figure of over $65 million to approved political parties and affiliates from 1948 through the early 1970s. In 1976, the Aldo Moro government fell in Italy after revelations that the CIA had spent $6 million to support anti-communist candidates. At the time, the European communist parties were moving towards independence of action with pluralistic and democratic tendencies (Eurocommunism), a development that in fact pleased neither Washington nor Moscow. For such reasons, both superpowers opposed the legalization of the Communist Party of Spain and the rising influence of the Communist Party in Italy, and both preferred center-right governments in France. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger described the "major problem" in the Western alliance as "the domestic evolution in many European countries," which might make Western communist parties more attractive to the public, nurturing moves towards independence and threatening the NATO alliance."

    US interventions in the political affairs of other nations have always been morally and politically justified as part of the faith in the doctrine of spreading American-style democracy, but the actual reason was of course the spread of capitalism and the dominance of business rule. Was faith in the spread of democracy ever tenable?

    No belief concerning US foreign policy is more deeply entrenched than the one regarding the spread of American-style democracy. The thesis is commonly not even expressed, merely presupposed as the basis for reasonable discourse on the US role in the world.

    The faith in this doctrine may seem surprising. Nevertheless, there is a sense in which the conventional doctrine is tenable. If by "American-style democracy," we mean a political system with regular elections but no serious challenge to business rule, then US policymakers doubtless yearn to see it established throughout the world. The doctrine is therefore not undermined by the fact that it is consistently violated under a different interpretation of the concept of democracy: as a system in which citizens may play some meaningful part in the management of public affairs.

    So, what lessons can be drawn from all this about the concept of democracy as understood by US policy planners in their effort to create a new world order?

    One problem that arose as areas were liberated from fascism [after World War II] was that traditional elites had been discredited, while prestige and influence had been gained by the resistance movement, based largely on groups responsive to the working class and poor, and often committed to some version of radical democracy. The basic quandary was articulated by Churchill's trusted adviser, South African Prime Minister Jan Christiaan Smuts, in 1943, with regard to southern Europe: "With politics let loose among those peoples," he said, "we might have a wave of disorder and wholesale Communism." Here the term "disorder" is understood as threat to the interests of the privileged, and "Communism," in accordance with usual convention, refers to failure to interpret "democracy" as elite dominance, whatever the other commitments of the "Communists" may be. With politics let loose, we face a "crisis of democracy," as privileged sectors have always understood.
    http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/ite...eign-elections
    Dispite our best intentions, the system is dysfunctional that intelligence failure is guaranteed.
    Russ Travers, CIA analyst, 2001

    Comment


    • #3
      More evidence of US meddling in other nations elections.

      Nina Agrawal
      Update: President Obama on Thursday slapped Russia with new penalties for meddling in the U.S. presidential election, kicking out dozens of suspected spies and imposing banking restrictions on five people and four organizations the administration says were involved.

      The CIA has accused Russia of interfering in the 2016 presidential election by hacking into Democratic and Republican computer networks and selectively releasing emails. But critics might point out the U.S. has done similar things.

      The U.S. has a long history of attempting to influence presidential elections in other countries – it’s done so as many as 81 times between 1946 and 2000, according to a database amassed by political scientist Dov Levin of Carnegie Mellon University.

      That number doesn’t include military coups and regime change efforts following the election of candidates the U.S. didn’t like, notably those in Iran, Guatemala and Chile. Nor does it include general assistance with the electoral process, such as election monitoring.
      Levin defines intervention as “a costly act which is designed to determine the election results [in favor of] one of the two sides.” These acts, carried out in secret two-thirds of the time, include funding the election campaigns of specific parties, disseminating misinformation or propaganda, training locals of only one side in various campaigning or get-out-the-vote techniques, helping one side design their campaign materials, making public pronouncements or threats in favor of or against a candidate, and providing or withdrawing foreign aid.

      In 59% of these cases, the side that received assistance came to power, although Levin estimates the average effect of “partisan electoral interventions” to be only about a 3% increase in vote share.

      The U.S. hasn’t been the only one trying to interfere in other countries’ elections, according to Levin’s data. Russia attempted to sway 36 foreign elections from the end of World War II to the turn of the century – meaning that, in total, at least one of the two great powers of the 20th century intervened in about 1 of every 9 competitive, national-level executive elections in that time period.
      http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-...213-story.html
      Dispite our best intentions, the system is dysfunctional that intelligence failure is guaranteed.
      Russ Travers, CIA analyst, 2001

      Comment


      • #4
        Yes, we know that the US meddled in the past. Does that make it right?

        Now list current attempts by other countries to meddle in our elections, as you claimed in the OP.

        Got to love the USA bashing by the Trump supporters.... sweet.
        “The time has come,” the Walrus said,
        “To talk of many things:
        Of shoes—and ships—and sealing-wax—
        Of cabbages—and kings—
        And why the sea is boiling hot—
        And whether pigs have wings.”
        ― Lewis Carroll

        Comment


        • #5
          And Euromaidan,organised by the US ambassador in Ukraine, and the Israeli Elections,and the Brexit referendum, etc,etc


          And the intervention in the Russian presidential elections of 1996 .

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by ljadw View Post
            And Euromaidan,organised by the US ambassador in Ukraine, and the Israeli Elections,and the Brexit referendum, etc,etc
            Sure list the specific way the US meddled.

            Immaterial as we know we have. That is not the issue.
            “The time has come,” the Walrus said,
            “To talk of many things:
            Of shoes—and ships—and sealing-wax—
            Of cabbages—and kings—
            And why the sea is boiling hot—
            And whether pigs have wings.”
            ― Lewis Carroll

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Combat Engineer View Post
              Yes, we know that the US meddled in the past. Does that make it right?

              Now list current attempts by other countries to meddle in our elections, as you claimed in the OP.

              Got to love the USA bashing by the Trump supporters.... sweet.
              Trump himself is hurting the United States both at home and abroad, and to my mind much more than Obama ever did.

              Trump's entire campaign can be characterized as US-bashing, from his campaign 'motto' to the continued attack against US institutions such as the press and the judicial system. And lately, the US intelligence services, especially the FBI.

              This morning he threatened by tweet Director Comey, which is probably a violation of US law, as Comey is now, as a private citizen, a potential witness.

              Trump also employed in a sensitive job, a person in the pay of at least two foreign governments-Michael Flynn-who failed to disclose that fact. And if I'm not mistaken, it is a federal crime for a retired flag officer to take money from a foreign government.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Urban hermit View Post
                For a nation that has been meddling in other countries election for decades we sure don't like it when the shoe is on the other foot.
                Of course, foreign powers have tried to influence our elections for many years, usually our candidates just take it in stride and bank.....
                So why the false concern now?



                https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...=.09b5095141c3
                Are you enjoying attacking your own government?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Two wrongs don't make a right, but three rights do make a left...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ljadw View Post
                    And Euromaidan,organised by the US ambassador in Ukraine, and the Israeli Elections,and the Brexit referendum, etc,etc


                    And the intervention in the Russian presidential elections of 1996 .
                    That's just Russian tin-foil conspiracy stuff.

                    Except Russia actually acts on the assumption this can be done, and has been done, it's just that when Russia does it, it somehow fails or even backfires badly.

                    There is a myth of the efficacy of "political technologies", and how Russia somehow lags behind the REAL masters, who are never caught, hardly suspected, phenomenally successful.

                    A bit like how some people in past history assumed the Jews were taking over the world in a huge conspiracy, so dastardly no evidence could ever be found — which of course was always interpreted as proof of just HOW GOOD they were at it.

                    Same thing with Euromaidan. It's more comforting than thinking the Ukranian people at one point stood up, and booted out a rubbish kleptocratic government that had turned homicidal towards it's own people.

                    Very disturbing and dangerous, the people. Much more comforting to think it's the US.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Massena View Post
                      Trump also employed in a sensitive job, a person in the pay of at least two foreign governments-Michael Flynn-who failed to disclose that fact. And if I'm not mistaken, it is a federal crime for a retired flag officer to take money from a foreign government.
                      I think it is more of a Washington problem than anything else. President Obama employed Hillary Clinton who was known to be in the pay of multiple governments. Instead of firing her, the DNC manipulated the primaries so that Bernie couldn't win.

                      I do agree that two wrongs don't make a right but the problem is systemic in our government. There are probably a lot of people in the GOP that wish that they would have manipulated the primaries like the DNC.
                      "I don't discuss sitting presidents," Mattis tells NPR in an interview. "I believe that you owe a period of quiet."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Massena View Post

                        Trump's entire campaign can be characterized as US-bashing, from his campaign 'motto' to the continued attack against US institutions such as the press

                        This morning he threatened by tweet Director Comey,

                        Trump also employed in a sensitive job, a person in the pay of at least two foreign governments-Michael Flynn-who failed to disclose that fact.
                        1) Ha ha :the press a US institution

                        2 ) Wrong : Comey was not threatened and he is not a Director

                        3 ) prove it .

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Johan Banér View Post
                          That's just Russian tin-foil conspiracy stuff.

                          Except Russia actually acts on the assumption this can be done, and has been done, it's just that when Russia does it, it somehow fails or even backfires badly.

                          There is a myth of the efficacy of "political technologies", and how Russia somehow lags behind the REAL masters, who are never caught, hardly suspected, phenomenally successful.

                          A bit like how some people in past history assumed the Jews were taking over the world in a huge conspiracy, so dastardly no evidence could ever be found — which of course was always interpreted as proof of just HOW GOOD they were at it.

                          Same thing with Euromaidan. It's more comforting than thinking the Ukranian people at one point stood up, and booted out a rubbish kleptocratic government that had turned homicidal towards it's own people.

                          Very disturbing and dangerous, the people. Much more comforting to think it's the US.
                          The Israeli government openly protested to Washington because the US (CIA/ISAID/Soros ) tried to topple Netanjahu.

                          The Ukrainian people stood not op :it was a coup d'état organised by the WH : what was McCain doing at Euromaidan ? On the side of the heirs of those who murdered countless Poles,Jews and Russians ?

                          In 1996,US intervened (with $ millions ) to prevent a communist to win the Russian elections and to help win Yeltsin .

                          And let's not talk about Lybia,Syria,Hungary ,UK ,....

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ljadw View Post
                            The Israeli government openly protested to Washington because the US (CIA/ISAID/Soros ) tried to topple Netanjahu.

                            The Ukrainian people stood not op :it was a coup d'état organised by the WH : what was McCain doing at Euromaidan ? On the side of the heirs of those who murdered countless Poles,Jews and Russians ?

                            In 1996,US intervened (with $ millions ) to prevent a communist to win the Russian elections and to help win Yeltsin .

                            And let's not talk about Lybia,Syria,Hungary ,UK ,....

                            and while you are at it,consider the amount of small wars the US has started or encouraged since at least 1900 and walked away when things went bad for them......

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Massena View Post
                              Are you enjoying attacking your own government?
                              This from you? A man who obsessively starts multiple threads a day attacking the POTUS and administration on the flimsiest evidence possible?
                              Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

                              Comment

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